Obligatory post about banned books week

Posted: September 27, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

It’s Banned Books Week, and I thought I’d share with you all the most completely ridiculous example of a banned book I’ve seen on the list for this year.

The book is called Pit Bulls and Tenacious Guard Dogs by Carl Semencic.  (Sorry, I don’t have the reference, as I saw it on a hard copy of the list in my library.)  It was banned in some public library in Austrailia.  “Why?” do you ask.  The library banned the book because it is about pit bulls and in that particular locality, pit bulls are a restricted breed and it is illegal to own them.  Apparently, it is also illegal to even posess information about them.

So I guess I wanted to share this because it’s almost refereshing to me.  It’s definitely not refreshing that any book was banned, that’s not what I mean.  It’s just that most stuff that gets banned is because it deals with sex or gay stuff or abortion or language or violence–basically books that deal with things that make the conservative Christian right type folks uncomfortable and which offend their moral sensibilities.

The fact that this random library doesn’t want people to have access to boring, non-fiction information about a breed of dog sucks, of course, for prospective pit bull owners, but is also pretty awesome.  It’s awesome because it’s the most ridiculous thing ever.  Banning books in the first place–this idea that making it harder to find information will somehow make that information and the ideas it contains disappear or something–is ridiculous in general.  But when it happens to a book that is completely un-controversial, the kind of book that even the captain of the book-banning team would understand is kind of dumb to ban, it is kind of satisfying because it pretty much illustrates the point of why it’s dumb to ban books in the sort of language book-banners can understand.


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